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Wrongful death claims may follow fatal bus accident

Federal law limits the continuous hours that bus and truck drivers in California are allowed to drive. Operators of these vehicles must rest for prescribed periods after driving for the number of hours allowed per driver. Exhausted bus drivers can cause devastating accidents that may lead to multiple wrongful death claims.

In the early morning hours of a recent Tuesday, a charter bus carrying 26 passengers crashed on Highway 99. It is not known for how many hours the bus operator had been driving prior to the incident, but it was reported that the accident occurred shortly before a scheduled stop at which another driver would take over. Possible driver fatigue will likely be examined as part of the investigation.

For reasons yet to be determined, the driver lost control of the bus, causing it to leave the roadway and crash into a road sign that tore through it. Four passengers were killed, seven -- including the driver -- suffered serious injuries and the rest reported minor injuries. Witnesses said some of the injured victims suffered severed limbs.

As part of the investigation, possible medical issues, distractions, road conditions, mechanical failure, and the safety history of the driver and the bus company will be examined. Those injured in this crash -- along with the surviving family members of the deceased -- may pursue financial relief through the California civil court system. Wrongful death and personal injury claims may be filed against the bus driver and the company that owns the vehicle. Upon establishment of negligence, monetary judgments may be entered.

Source: wtop.com, "4 dead identified as cause of California bus crash probed," Scott Smith, Christopher Weber, Aug. 3.2016

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